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BFS Capital Blog

It’s Crunch Time for Small Business Holiday Marketing

November 8, 2013

By now, you’re well on your way to having a productive, successful, and hopefully fun holiday season. Whether you’ve been preparing for months or have compressed your pre-holiday activities into the last several weeks, you’ve still got the next two weeks or so to tweak, revise, or make changes and additions as you see fit.

But first, it’s time to get into spirit mentally. And what better way to do that than looking at some interesting holiday facts and figures, says Constant Contact contributor Ryan Pinkham. His post includes a total of 30 statistics compiled from a variety of sources. If you’ve still got some decisions to make, these could help. Here are just a few:

    • Twenty to forty percent of yearly sales for small and mid-sized retailers take place within the last two months of the year. (National Retail Federation)


    • Last year, consumers spent an estimated $5.5 billion at locally-owned stores and restaurants on Small Business Saturday. (American Express)


    • Sixty-five percent of consumers plan to browse online and then go into a store to buy. (Accenture)


    • Mobile is expected to have an impact on 87 percent of all holiday purchases. (Mobile Marketing Association)

Click here to read the full list!

Constant Contact also suggests six ways to improve your holiday marketing results. Check out the list to put the final touches on your own holiday plans or use it as a checklist for a final review of your holiday marketing.

    • Are you “all in” for the big three? (Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday)


    • Are you fully mobile? (Your customers are)


    • Are you always listening? (Pay attention to online reviews, because your customers are)


    • Have you reviewed/refreshed your online listings (e.g., Citysearch) lately?


    • Do you have a holiday offer? (Holiday shoppers have come to expect them)


    • Are you planning to continue to connect with customers throughout the season? (Keep working your email lists!)

Because they’re wearing so many hats so much of the time, small business owners are masters of pulling off amazing last-minute feats. Holiday marketing is no exception! If it’s crunch time for you, you might be interested in the SBA’s 12 last-minute low-cost holiday marketing tips. Here are several of the best:

    • Make sure your employees are offering customers gift ideas and suggestions—lots of shoppers have no idea what to buy for friends and family members. And it’s not too early to start now.


    • Build a sense of urgency into your social media messaging.


    • As shipping deadlines near, use incentives to drive shoppers offline and into your store.


    • Cater to last-minute shoppers with things like gift cards, especially on December 23 and 24.

Last but not least, Yahoo Small Business offers reminders for avoiding five holiday marketing mistakes that are easy to make. Again, use this as a framework for a last look at your holiday marketing.

    • Running last year’s campaign. We don’t see this as an absolute no-no, as long as you’ve made some changes to it.


    • Not reaching out to customers. Keep that continuity going during the holidays, if at all possible.


    • Forgetting that there are multiple holidays. This is more than being politically correct – it’s showing respect for all your customers.


    • Not updating your website. If you haven’t done this, you still can. It’s easy to add a bit of holiday cheer to your website and doesn’t have to be time intensive or expensive.


    • Not doing a survey. Near the end of the year is the perfect time to ask customers for feedback. It can help gauge the effectiveness of many different aspects of your business, including your holiday marketing campaign.

We would add one more to this list of mistakes to avoid: Not having fun! Above all, going through the holidays with your employees and customers should be enjoyable.
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